Tiger Woods roars to PGA Championship lead

By Associated PressAugust 13, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 PGA ChampionshipCHASKA, Minn. ' Tiger Woods was twirling his club, not tossing them at his bag in disgust. Putts that grazed the edge of the hole and caused him so much angst were for birdie, not par or worse.
 
Woods had no complaints Thursday in the first round of the PGA Championship.
 
The only concerns might come from the guys chasing him.
 
Woods played bogey-free at Hazeltine National for a 5-under 67, building a one-shot lead over defending champion Padraig Harrington for an ideal start as he tries to capture a major in his last chance this year.
 
Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship
Tiger Woods got off to a solid start at Hazeltine.(Getty Images)
Not since Carnoustie two years ago has Woods managed to break 70 in the opening round of a major. Not since St. Andrews four years ago has he had the lead to himself after the first round.
 
More telling was a scorecard without a blemish.
 
It was the only the third time that Woods has opened a major with a bogey-free round ' the other two were at the U.S. Open and British Open in 2000, which he won by a combined 23 shots.
 
It was a very positive start, Woods said. When Im playing well, I usually dont make that many mistakes.
 
Harrington, who lost a three-shot lead to Woods in the final round at Firestone on Sunday, stayed with him through the steamy, breezy morning until a bunker shot on the par-5 seventh was too strong and he had to settle for par.
 
The intensity from the final round was missing. Both are experienced enough to know that Thursday at a major is all about position, and they chatted frequently during their five hours at Hazeltine.
 
Even so, Harrington took notice.
 
Theres a factor that Tiger is 5-under par and looks like hes playing well, and looks like he could move away, Harrington said. And key will be, obviously is hes moving away, to make sure Im moving with him. It was tough on Sunday with me getting a three-shot start. I dont want to give him a three-shot start.
 
Phil Mickelson struggled off the tee and with his short putts in his round of 74.
 
In the traditional group of major champions this year, Lucas Glover was the only one to break par with a 71. Masters champion Angel Cabrera had a 76, while British Open winner Stewart Cink had two double bogeys in his round of 73.
 
Woods and Harrington, the winners of the last three PGAs, played in the morning when the greens were relatively smooth and the wind had only just begun to swirl through these tree-lined fairways.
 
Equally impressive was a pair of other past PGA champions ' Vijay Singh and David Toms ' who were at 69 while playing in the afternoon, and should get the best conditions in the second round. Singh hit his best shot around the trees and into the sun, not seeing that it spun back an inch or two from the hole at No. 16.
 
Others who had a 69 from the morning batch were Robert Allenby and Alvaro Quiros, the big-hitter from Spain who hit driver off the deck on the 606-yard 11th hole ' into a breeze ' that bounded onto the green while Woods, Harrington and Rich Beem were putting.
 
Woods looked back at Quiros and smiled, giving him a thumbs-up.
 
Thats just stupid long, Woods said. Its just absolutely phenomenal. I used to be able to move the ball ' not anymore. I just plod my way around, shoot 67.
 
This wasnt a memorable round, rather an efficient one.
 
Woods missed only two fairways ' he hit driver on six holes ' and three greens. He only twice came close to making bogey, on the 18th and first holes, and saved par with 6-foot putts.
 
He looked nothing like the guy who was slamming clubs and looking for a lost ball at Turnberry last month in the British Open, when he missed the cut in a major for only the second time in his career. Woods had a chance to expand his lead with birdie putts of 12 and 15 feet on the last two holes that burned the lip.
 
Woods atop the leaderboard can be daunting going into Sunday, not so much after one round.
 
His record with at least a share of the lead through 18 holes is only 13-11 on the PGA Tour, including 4-2 in the majors. Even so, he has won the last four majors from this positions.
 
That was only a bonus.
 
Something Ive always believe in is just keep yourself around, Woods said. You dont have to be eight ahead after the first round. Just got to keep plodding along. Major championship are set up so theyre difficult. They beat you into making mistakes. And the whole idea is not to make many mistakes.
 
A few tees were moved forward to account for the wind. Even so, Hazeltine played 7,660 yards from the tee to the hole, and Woods made some of his best birdies with long clubs. He opened his scoring with a 3-iron to 20 feet at No. 12, and picked up three birdies on the par 5s, including a 3-wood to a back bunker of the 651-yard 15th, with a breeze at his back.
 
He took the outright lead on the par-5 seventh with a 349-yard tee shot, followed by a 6-iron to 30 feet.
 
Hes human, Allenby said. And the golf course is in front of all of us. And obviously, hes the best in the world, so we expect him to win, because hes the best. He should. But you know what? Its three more days to go. And a lot can happen.
 
Woods knows better than most that the tournament is far from over. He was atop the leaderboard at consecutive majors in 1998 after the opening round and watched someone else hoist the trophy.
 
Still, it was a powerful start.
 
Theres a lot of guys out here that can hang with him when theyre playing their best, Rory McIlroy said after a 71. But the thing is, Tiger plays his best most of the time. And even when he doesnt play his best, he usually wins.
 
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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.